Back In Belgium Again – Cliff’s Cigar BBQ 2015

24 Aug

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A week after having the Dutch and the Belgians here at the pharmacy I was on the road again to Belgium on a cigar mission.
It was 800 km in 3 days and I decided to take it easy by driving on Friday to Tielt and stay over night there at Silentium B&B.

The driving was OK but it was hot and I was happy to arrive early afternoon to relax in the peaceful atmosphere smoking a cigar and reading a good book.

Then it was dinner at nearby Brasserie Nestor with Matt whom I had met in Cuba earlier this year vacationing in Bay of Pigs with his wife Karen.

While I went for tiger prawns that turned out to be OK but came with a boring sauce, he had the mussels and I knew I had to get some as well, love them, so he suggested lunch on my way back Sunday.

Frank joined us then at Silentium for a beer and a Montecristo 80 Aniversario, a great cigar and I am happy to be getting more soon.

Next day started great. Bright sun and blue skies, a good breakfast and a cigar in the early morning sun – it promised to be a good day – but traffic jams spoiled a good 3 hrs of it.

I left Tielt headed for Kortrijk but had to pass Brussels – and that is when the driving turned into a stop & go nightmare. Everybody and his grandmother was headed for the coast.
I had been advised it would take longer, but 3 hrs for 125 kms … I left the highway frustrated by the standstill and the detour was even worse !

But by 1 pm I arrived at Cliff’s house and the fun started. People were arriving from the Netherlands and all over Belgium and after a cigar and some coffee the stress was gone and the party began.

We put some of the rose & white wine I had brought from my village in the fridge, I checked into the lovely Bintjeshof B&B, changed and then it was back for the cigar action.

While the Gin & Tonic men mixed some great drinks I smoked fantastic cigars like Partagas Lusitania Gran Reserva and Cohiba Robusto Supremo plus my beloved CR Salomones, I passed and received beautiful sticks, including a vintage Lufthansa tin, a selection of fine Partagas vintage sticks, a box of Bolivar ER Spain 108’s, and old friends were greeted and new ones made.

I missed Jan & Christian who could not join us, but Michel, Frank, Koen, Simon and all the others present made up.

It was fun and cigars and drinks – interrupted by a cigar quiz, a raffle for prizes, a cigar exchange and finally a tombola for a SCDLH Torreon cigar and a lucky winner for the jar.

Great fun and great prizes ! Besides all that, everyone received a tobacco plant – Cliff had really put a lot of planning and organization behind his BBQ herf !

Thanks Cliff !

Then it was dinner time and I can’t complain this year about the food being late … šŸ™‚

More cigars, now smoked with good ol’ Mulata 7 that Frank put on the table and more conversations. Truly a great informal gathering of cigar enthusiasts as a private, fun filled event and not some formal, stiff and boring organized club thing that leaves you wondering why you wasted your time.

While I left at around 11 pm most of the hard core guys stayed up and smoking until 04:30 in the morning … that’s how good it was !

Another good breakfast in the sun at Bintjeshof and by 09:30 I was back in the now half deserted garden at Cliff’s for my second cigar of the day, a Salomones, and some decent coffee.

Assisted by the remaining friends Cliff cleared his garden and it was back to a quiet green playground for his lovely daughters again.

It was a fine and sunny day and the ride back home was easy so I decided to stop for the mussels lunch with Matthias and Karen in Oud-Heverlee at Brasserie St Jean – beautiful countryside and a popular spot for locals to eat and take walks in the forest.

The mussels in white wine were superb, really tasty and even though I wasn’t that hungry I finished off a pot with 2,5 lbs of them – finger lickin’ good !

It was fun to smoke a good cigar, a vintage PL Lolas en cedro with Matthias as he had his first cigar taste with me in Cuba and now he is seriously into cigars … well, he is smoking the best with some great people and even Karen loved to puff on the cigar, so he won’t have a problem. Just make sure your first humidor is large enough … šŸ™‚

With a thunderstorm approaching I continued my trip home and 3 hrs later I was relaxing with a Roseschorle and a cigar in my local pub.

Fantastic time back in Belgium again – thanks to Cliff and all friends who made it possible !!

Tot ziens !

Nino

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